Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dye Day

I'm getting caught up, finally, except now I'm so tired I don't care! I feel like I've dyed a mountain of wool and all I dyed is two pounds of roving - immersion style easy enough - and 8 skeins of wool yarn - dye painted again easy enough. I also painted 4 pieces of fabric, but again these were small and it was the quick and dirty squirt bottle paint job.

So the only reason I should be so tired is the hour I spent fighting the lawn mower - I think it's wanting to be replaced, with one that'll actually start on the first try.

I'll post pictures tomorrow on the dyed wool, oh I slipped some silk carrier rods into the brown dye vat they came out this really cool coffee color, all mottled, these should be a lot of fun to play with, I"m off to bed early!!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

What I want

1956 Chevy Nomad Station Wagon it has lots of cargo space and can actually tow a wagon. Here the guys are looking in the engine box, where one can actually stand inside of the compartment with the engine!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

My Loom

Here's are some pictures of my loom, not as nice as the other one as it's warped up and all. John moved it into the office so it's now off limits to the pets, which means I can warp my loom up and it'll be safe, mostly from the cats. I need to add more lighting to the office so I can actually see to weave, I wish it could live in my studio but the reality is the pets have full reign in here, simply because the door won't stay shut!


While cleaning today I managed to find all sorts of wonderful yarns I dyed with natural dyes a long time ago, this was rather exciting as I thought they were permantly lost.

I also unearthed my floor loom, Leclerc you can see them here I'm thinking a tapestry might be in order, I have plenty of bindweed to pick and dry, hadn't gotten to the lawn work yet so am thinking it's an excellent candidate for my newest project.

It'll take awhile to get this project off the ground, first the bindweed has to be picked and dried properly, and I need to dye up some warp thread.

Friday, September 21, 2007

And now to find furniture!

Well my day didn't go anything like I had planned or had imagined, typical maybe I don't know. I went to a yard sale to see about purchasing some stools for my classroom area, I have a seated working area and a standing at tables area, and that last area is in sorry need of some seating. Well I didn't find any stools got to the one sale too late, probably just by seconds knowing my luck. I did, however, find the cutest little chest of drawers for ten dollars and promptly put it in the display window with skeins of undyed yarn spilling out of.

While out and about I had an epiphany, or simply came to a conclusion, regardless I've decided to stop fighting popular demand and go with the flow, so I'm filling the store with yarns for knitting. Lucky me I have many many pounds of undyed yarns on hand to fill the store with, so the three of us spent the better part of the day working on yarns for dyeing - well I spent most of the day finding the yarns as they are still on cones and have been stored away, Wendy and Loretta skeined and plied yarns for dyeing. Kim, Loretta's daughter, is my new mentee and she's in charge of this dyeing project, I can't wait to see what she comes up with, now to just find some sock yarns for the store.

Part two to my epiphany was to put a seating area in the front of the store for customers to come in and stitch, that'd be knitting, crocheting (hey it's really big here so don't laugh) and embroidery. Now I just need to find some comfy chairs for people to sit in, we moved the table and three nice chairs that go with it to the front of teh store and moved the display cabinet, and wow what can I say it immediately changed the feeling of the space - like it suddenly became more welcoming.

I did get some of the junk out of my living and dining rooms today, didn't make near the progress I had hoped but there's always tomorrow and what can I say this is what happens when I go back to the shop in the middle of a house cleaning project - the shop ends up getting all of the attention!

I'm Off I'm Off

I'm taking the day off, so to speak! I've iris' to plant and bindweed to conquer AND fibers and fabrics to dye and paint. I have a full docet we'll see how far I get as it's supposed to be scorchinling hot today 89F. I"m a cold weather person so these temps are not my friends.

More later with pictures.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Chris C. brought me some rabbitbrush from western Nebraska, to Beaver Creek VII, for the dyeing demonstration. I simmered it in my rusty iron pot for several hours and acquired this really gorgeous apple green color on wool roving.

Ok it's not letting me post pics, more tomorrow.

I'm back

Beaver Creek was a blast! As usual our trip there (actually the trip back) wasn't without event, seems I have a couple of spark plug wires that have the need to wiggle loose every so many miles. It's been awhile since they have been changed so I think that's what hubby is going to do tomorrow.

More later with photos.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Compost Dyed Scarves

"Wild Iris"
"Slurry #1" This scarf is crepe de chine and was dyed in my rusty wheel barrow, there are six total that went through a slurry vat, I put all of my left over dyestuffs into the barrow and poof I came out with a gorgeous steel grey with blue flecks.
"Oak" I think I might have put some oak leaves in this bundle as there is the faint impression of leaves on the fabric.

" Madder" because it's the color of my madder root dye pot when it's not the color I am wanting!

"Fire Devil" when stretched out it looks like a firey cyclone! I have a chiffon scarf that I dyed in the same bundle that has very similar markings.

"Auroura" - I was really pleased with these purples which can be very difficult to achieve.

Scarves: I've been working on getting these scarves photographed for quite some time now. They are available at my store. These are all compost dyed using natural materials and eco friendly techniques - which means very little water, and no heat other than my compost pile!!!

Music and Teaching

First off I have no sound coming out of my computer, have no idea what's wrong with it, I check all of the wires and even restarted the computer and still no sound.

I will be leaving tomorrow, I'm doing the natural dyeing and pigment painting portion of this weekends primitive skills meet. I'll be in Nebraska, and it's great no one can get ahold of me there which means three days of peace and quite, no trains, no sirens from fire trucks screaming down the street in the middle of the night. It's as close to heaven as you can get this side of heaven! Well for me it is anyway.

I'll take plenty of pictures, mainly plants and fungi, and give an update on Monday when we get back!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tree Bark

Here's some tree bark to tide you over until I can get some studio pics taken. I'm thinking that the leaf colors won't be that great this year, good thing I've taken hundreds of them to tide me over until next year!

Creativity Start:

  • For fall inspiration I love go stand next a tree, looking up, then photograph what I see!
  • Do this in the early morning, midday and in the evening - use the same tree and same spot if at all possible, in your notebook write down what you see, how are the views different?
  • Note if some or even all of the leaves have fallen off of the tree since the last time you looked.
  • How are the colors differnt?
  • How are the lines, space, voids different?
  • Was it cloudy or was the sky a bright clear blue?
  • This exercise helps me to get unstuck, I do it throughout the year, usually I am standing under the crab apple trees as they have really nice branches and the blossoms in the spring just can't be beat.
  • If your standing under a maple or an aspen/birch note the color of the leaves and whether they are becoming more translucent,
  • How does the light reflect off the the leaves?
  • How does the light reflecting from the leaves affect your impression of the branches?

More later

Extreme Embroidery 1

Don't you just love it when you think you have tabbed down into the box and your typing away only to look up and realize you never made it to the box! that's the kind of day I'm having.

Actually I'm off to take a nap here in a few minutes. My extreme embroidery class begins tonight, I'm ready, as ready as I'll ever be, and I'm sure it'll be fine, I have my syllabus done but not my zine, considering how much pain I've been in, it hurts really bad to sit, it's not suprising, what is suprising is that I have gotten anything done at all.

Anyway... Wendy, my employee and assistant, painted some fabrics for me to use as my base for the class, she's a real sweetien and has been a major help to me th is summer ;-) Loretta has been coming in and doing some extra work that has also helped me out and in a big way, their being there at the shop allows me to come home and sleep off the muscle relaxer before class starts.

Anyway... The piece I'm going to work on tonight, that I am demoing on, will hopefully start to resemeble tree bark after awhile, I do love tree bark and all if it's intrcasies (sp?) and it's endless possiblities. So in thinking about tree bark I realize I need to dye some carrier rods in browns, and maybe some bluish and or greenish browns. After all tree bark isn't exactly brown.
This reminds me of the story I was told about a little boy that was given detention by his school teacher for refusing to color the tree brown, he protested stating that trees are not brown. I'm sure it's happening in schools everywhere. That was one smart, observant, little boy!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Mystery Batts

I recieved these mystery batts today from Mountain Shadow Ranch in Creswell, OR. I plan to stock my store with these beauties! They are so beautiful I'm not sure which one I want to felt with first! They would also spin beautifully if a person were so inclined, right now I'm on a felting jag with my Janome Expression.

Hip Update

Well I'm lucky that nothing is fractured, I'm not so lucky because at 40 years of age my right hip is falling apart, as is some of my vertebrate (the last thorasic and the first lumbar). I attribute this to the hardware in my right leg and my really odd gait from said hardware - 12.5 inch plate with 7 pins that's what holds my right leg together! Anyway, I'm also starting to wonder if this is where the eyesight problems are originating from as I guess my vertebrate are in really bad condition.

The doc says there's nothing they can do until it's bad enough for surgery - well I refulse to take that diagnosis lying down. I've decided it's time to bone up on the yoga - building muscle helps to strenghten the frame and reduce arthritis symtoms and I may also start swimming again - that's if they ever got the pool fixed and opened to the public again. I'll be writing more about this over on my personal blog Survival Kitchen when I get a chance.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Here's a compost dyed scarf, it will be available on my store tomorrow. I love

the markings in this piece and it has been very hard for me to not cut it up and put it into one my art quilts!

Felted Bag

Here's the felted bag I mentioned, I need to sew the sides together and make the strap yet, it was needlefelted using the Janome Expression. The dealer down the street, from my shop, lent me the machine and if I wasn't in so much pain I'd make samples for them as well. Maybe next week sometime??? I have another bag done already and it's at the shop in the window display with a bunch of other felted items that is announcing our needlefelting workshop the end of October.

Bottom to Top: Front view with the flap open, the back and the front views, and the front view with flap closed. The views are clipped a little bit but that's because I'm in so much pain I'm not able to stretch up enough to get a better view. I'm taking muscle relaxers and pain pills but it doesn't even tough the pain - which tells me it's in the bone not the muscles cause those muscle relaxers they gave me can drop a horse and I'm not whinnining yet!

The background fabric is wool that has been dyed with natural dyes, and the wool on top is a combination of natural dyed and synthetically dyed fibers. Note that it is nigh impossible to match natural dyed fibers to synthetically dyed ones.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

What I've been working on

Well if I wasn't in so much pain I'd be working on these extreme embroidery pieces! This is where you take traditional embroidery layering, distorting and simply pushing the surface until the desired result is achieved.

Here I'm starting with a piece of muslin (calico) that I've painted with Tsukineko inks and then with light gold Shiva Paintstiks for my base layer. The piece is 9" square and is now ready to be partied on!!! Now to just get my body to cooperate with my plans.


Can someone tell me why the posts are smooshed together making them look crazy?

Wholesale & Educational DVD's

Yes you heard right we are wholesaling natural dyes, I'm hoping to have everything ready to go at the end of the month. Mainly it's getting my husband up to speed as he has the biggest hand in this venture.
Our listing will be small at first, growing as time goes on, but we DO have Osage Orange, Black Walnut Hulls, a lot of native dyes, and most of the mordants in stock. The biggest hurdle is getting everything packagaed and ready to be shipped. Patience is what I recommend as we get this venture off the ground it'll be well worth the wait, the quality, is excellent which as a natural dyer for the past 15 years, is of upmost importance to us.
Class DVD"s we think we may finally have the DVD burning issue figured out and if so I will be burning DVD's soon, very soon. Apparently it's something in the registry on the computer - have no clue what any of that means, but my computer person does and I hope to have it concqured and soon. These DVD's and the Books will be available wholesale to shops wishing to carry them. I will have a complete listing of that at the end of the month as well.

Saturday Update

Well I'm still waiting ot hear from the doctor, will probably be waiting until Monday sometime actually, to hear if I fractured my hip or my lowest lumbar vertebrate, or both. It's a long story but I'll just say that'll be the last time I EVER dive to save a sewing machine from hitting the floor, even if it IS a $3000.00+ machine!

I've been in pain all week, and like the eyesight problems aren't bad enough now I'm in so much pain it's beyond belief. I finally got in to see a doctor this morning, I had been treating it like I just wrenched muscles, or disturbed sciatica, up until now, but two mornings in a row of not being able to get myself out of bed and it's time to see a doctor!

What sucks the most about this is it hurts like heck to sit down, or get up from a sitting position so sewing, reading, and the like are virtually out of the question. Even the happy pills the doctor gave me is NOT taking the edge off of the pain, which makes me not want to take them, I figures a muscle relaxer should help somewhat but no it doesn't, sometimes I think the pills are only making matters worse. I will say that that product that is advertised on TV, called Activon, does help a little bit, even more so when I apply some arnica creme after applying the Activon, which makes me really think it is bone related and not muscular.

Above is a piece I rust dyed and then painted with Setacolor Opaque Moss Green fabric paint. Now back to the prairie!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

New works

I'll have to post some pictures later on but I'm on the verge of a new body of work. I've decided to take the plunge and cut up a bunch of silk scarves I compost and rust dyed and turn them into textile works - translation art quilts!

I'm still having problems with my eyes, I've been told that it's an occular migraine, but the episodes last 4-6 days, not 20-45 minutes like a true occular migraine. So I'm going to ask for a second opinion on Tuesday as I really don't trust the doctors.

More later from my other studio, meanwhile enjoy the extreme embroidery piece.